4 Ways To Let Your Unique Light Shine (Sermon Transcript)

Victor Eaves
15 min readOct 10, 2022


Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash

A stonecutter was laboring, chipping away at the face of a mountain. It was hard work, and it was his reality day after day. As he cut the rock, a wealthy merchant passed by, carried on a palanquin by a team of porters. How fortunate is he, said the stonecutter to himself; while I labor endlessly, his life is effortless. How I wish I were him. There must have been some magic in the air because he was immediately transported into the merchant’s body. He found himself on some plush cushions. Ah, this is life, said the stonecutter. But in a few minutes, he began to sweat profusely. It was a hot day, and the sun was beating down. His silk gown was soon soaked. Glancing up, he said, how I wish I were the sun. It is up there unencumbered, overlooking everything.

Once again, in an instant, he became the sun. Up in the sky, he could see the world. But soon, the sun found his rays blocked. There was a giant cloud. Again, discontent kicked in, and the stonecutter wished to be like the cloud that could float through the sky and block the sun. And, in an instant, he was the cloud, floating freely in the sky. Suddenly, however, he found himself being pushed firmly against his will. It was the wind moving him around. How I wish I was the wind, said the stonecutter quickly. And he became the wind. The wind roamed about, rushing through the sky, through the trees. And then, it was stopped abruptly. It had collided with the mountain. I wish I was the mountain, said the stonecutter, and once again, there he was, the mighty mountain, standing tall and firm. But, only for a moment, for there was a sharp pain at his base. Looking down, he saw a humble stonecutter chipping away. The stonecutter wished himself back to his original form. In his original state, he found his own value in being himself.

A google search will tell you that over 7.75 billion people are living in the world today, and every last billion are unique in different ways. With over a billion possible paths, too many of us choose the way not meant for us, and ultimately, we end up wasting our time doing what we do not want, failing to fulfill our lives with meaning. Too often, we confuse ours wants with our needs. “I want this house because it has an indoor pool.” “I want this career because it pays the most money.” “I want to be with this person because I don’t want to be alone.” Sometimes what we want isn’t always what we need. You may not want water when you’re thirsty, but you need it to stay hydrated. You may want that indoor pool, but you need to stay within your budget. There are way too many people in the big o world chasing what they want and not enough people utilizing what they need. When this happens, we lose our way and can take more than what we need, resulting in problems for everybody else. There’s a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that says, “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” The question I want to present in this message is, ‘How do we know what we need?’

There is more than one answer to this question. I’m not going to pretend like I have the only answer. Everyone has a unique response to this question. The purpose of this message is to inspire others to find their own solution, and what better way to start then from the one and only source? Where there is confusion, look to God, who offers clarity. Where there is indifference, God offers passion. Where there is dismay, God offers peace. Where there is darkness, God offers light.

The inspiration behind this message comes to us from Mathew 5:14–16,

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

The title of the message,

“Let Your Light Shine before mankind and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

As a teacher, I often ask some of my students what they want to be when they grow up, and here are some of the responses I get:

“Darnell,” I saw this one kid, bigger than the other kids in his class. It was apparent by his size that he was held back a grade. I knew this because I had him the previous year. While he was busy wasting time with his friends, he heard me call his name; this was how he responded.

“Huh?” he said, a little dopey.

“What do you want to be when you grow up, Darnell?” That’s not his real name, by the way.

“Oh, I want to be an NBA player. Yea, that’s what I want to be.”

“Okay, why?” I said, probing for a deeper reason.

“Because I want to get rich and buy a big house. Yep.”

“Okay, so what do you do after school?” This kid loved to be a class clown, so I knew what to expect from his answer.

“I ride the motor scooters Downtown until about 2 in the morning.”

“2 in the morning, Darnell? And your momma let you stay out that late?”


“Does she ride the motor scooters with you?”

“Nah. She drops me off until I call her to pick me up.”

“And how old are you?” I asked, not sure what I was expecting.


“Okay, how will that help you be a basketball player?”

“I don’t know.”

“You know you need to go college for that.”

“I know.”

“Well, what are your grades looking like?”

“I make straight As.” He said and proceeded not to finish his assignment.

We were all kids once upon a time. Some of us still are. If not physically, then kids at heart. When I was a kid, I wanted to sing like Michael Jackson. I had it mapped out in my head. I was going on a world tour and was going to kick my foot up in the air with my glittering left-hand glove. The fans were going to go wild. Fast forward to today, and here I am, a middle school teacher with angsty teenage kids wanting to be anywhere but the classroom. No adoring fans. No signature glove, just the blue or black marker I used to write my name on the board because the students who could name every star on Tik Tok couldn’t remember my name. “Mr. Evans,” they would say when he hadn’t taught there in the past three years. I don’t have an angelic voice to win the crowds and Grammys, just the voice that might shake the bones of a 6th-grade class that can’t follow directions. But this is not really who I want to be.

I didn’t mind the concept of teaching; I didn’t want to be a teacher in this public school system. There’s just too much politics involved for my taste. But, despite my less-than-pleasurable experience in wanting to be there. Too many people keep telling me that I need to be there. Maybe I’m missing my “why.” But what’s so important about the “why?”

Every time I go to a teacher development meeting, they ask about our why. It can get so tedious; it sounds corny and predictable. “Why do you want to teach” is what they often said in their nice cushioned chairs. In my mind, I would think, ‘I need the money. These bills won’t pay themselves.’ I wouldn’t do this for free. That’s when I started to think about what I would do for free if no one were paying me for my time and “why.”

Some people might think what they want to do for a living is sleep, but when I hear that, I think about what I saw once posted on Facebook, “This new generation doesn’t want to work. You could pay them to sleep, and they’ll wake up mad, complaining about the pillow being too fluffy and the mattress being too firm.” Sleep is good from time to time, but only in time of rest. It states in Ecclesiastes chapter 3, “there’s a season for everything.” There’s a time for rest, and there’s a time for work. Even God rested on the seventh day, but it was during the first six days he made the heavens and the earth. Why? For mankind. When it is time for work, we must ask ourselves what we’re working toward and why? What is it that fuels our fire? What will help us shine during the dark places in our journey? One might think money is the real motivator, but money is an external motivation and can only carry us so far down the path that God intended for us.

A man was walking down a street when he saw three stone cutters. Curious, he asked the first one, “What are you doing?”

“I’m doing this to get a paycheck,” was his response.

Coming upon the second, he asked the same question.

“I am creating the most beautiful stones. Look at how perfectly they are polished, the corners are perfectly rounded, and each is perfectly shaped. My goal is to be the best stone cutter in the world.”

Impressed, the man asked the third stone cutter.

His response was, “I am building a cathedral. My goal is to create a place where the community will come together to worship.”

We have all seen the first man. He’s there to make a few bucks and may be the easiest to motivate because he is so obvious about what drives him. He won’t waste time on something he won’t get paid for and can be highly productive. However, he can be a mercenary and have little loyalty or connection to his purpose.

The second man is a subject matter expert practitioner of the business. He has mastered the craft and continues to excel at the necessary functions. Every business needs them, but they often struggle with seeing the big picture because they focus on the product or the process. He can be an excellent supervisor because he can create such excellence in his area or function, but he struggles as a manager or leader because their perfection trumps their purpose.

Finally, there is the third man, the visionary. He is the architect. He understands not only what purpose the stone is serving but what purpose the cathedral will serve. However, he can be so caught up in the vision and overthinking that he doesn’t produce like the first man or create the quality of the second man. So while there are pros and cons to all three approaches, I want to focus on the purpose of the 3rd stone cutter. The one who found his meaning.

In 2 Corinthian Chapter 4, the Apostle Paul talks about the treasure in our earthly vessels. He goes on to explain that the “excellency of power may be of God and not of us” and that we should “not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporary; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

There will be times when the money we see on our travels goes rises and falls, but it’s the why that keeps us going. There will be times when the love that we used to have for the prickly flowers on the side of the road comes and goes, but it’s the mission that gives the path meaning. If we’re to go the distance, we must understand our purpose and I found that the strongest reasons for living don’t usually come from selfish goals, but rather from the desire to contribute to something greater than ourselves. This is how we let our light shine the brightest. Each of us has a God-given gift in our earthly vessels, and we’re here to share it with the world. The problem is many of us don’t recognize it and hide our talents. We look at what someone else is at, or who someone else is with and think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. The truth is we don’t have any idea how they got there or what they have to put up with every single day. Not everything that glitters for one person will spark for another. Everyone has their unique light. We should be careful when following the latest fleeting trend not lose our present worth, which is a gift.

What is our “why?” What is it that gives us meaning? What is our God-given talent, out of billions of people, and is uniquely ours to cultivate and nurture? Some people think they don’t have anything to offer. There’s this new trend that there’s no meaning to anything but living. And if that’s your point of view, that’s your point. But I can’t imagine a meaningless existence that becomes only living to die. There’s no direction in darkness until there’s light. Our light is to be fueled from the smallest flicker until it becomes a flame. It just takes time and investment.

In Matthew 25:14–30, Jesus spoke of the Parable of the Talents.

There was a Master with three servants entrusted with his property; each servant was left with a different amount of talent. He gave one five, another two, and the last he gave one, according to their ability. When the Master went away, the servant with five talents immediately went out and traded and made five more talents. The servant with two made an extra two talents, while the one with just one talent dug a hole in the ground and hid his Master’s money. When the Master returned, one of those servants came and settled accounts with them. The one with five talents came forward and said, “Master, you delivered five talents to me; here, I have made five more.’ His Master said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master.” The one with two came forward and said, “Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.” His Master said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master.” The one who received one talent came forward and said, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, have what is yours.” His Master looked at him and said, “You wicked and slothful servant! You knew I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming, I should have received what was my own with interest. So he took the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Our talent is a terrible thing to lose, hide, and bury from the world. We all have a reason for existing. How wonderful is the feeling of waking up looking forward to the day? Unfortunately, too many people are walking in darkness, including the rich, powerful, and famous, who are terrified of losing it all. The late rapper Biggie Smalls once said, “More money, more problems,” I also found out that sometimes having more fans means having more haters.

What we want isn’t always what we need. Sometimes what we want isn’t always what we thought we needed. So how do we know what we need? How do we find and nourish our talent? Here are my four ways to find purpose on my journey through life.

1. I examine my heart.

Someone once said that awareness is like a beacon shining on the dark unconscious mind. I use this beacon to examine my heart for any hindering secrets or shame and share my hurts and struggles with God or a trusted confidant. By doing this, I bring my burdens to the light, and they can hide no more as I can begin to find myself. When darkness flees, it allows us to be who we are and show that reality to others.

2. I live authentically

Authenticity is a way to shine for God by being what he created us to be. In a world of social media filters and flashy lifestyles, it’s refreshing to be who we are. When I’m honest about the way I need to live, the ones who can relate can join me and help me through the good and the bad times. Those like-minded individuals can help me shine even brighter.

3. I use my truth to help others

After I find out my heart’s desires and live my truth in a meaningful way, it’s easier for me to help others. As I live my life with purpose, my cup will overflow and help nurture others in need of fulfillment. In living my truth, I might also unconsciously give others the courage to live theirs.

4. I find inspiration in the world around me

I learned how inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes I’m inspired by the Bible, my circumstances, or my relationships with others. I believe that God is everywhere and that finding God in unlikely places is the essence of what it means to be alive. When I read the Bible, meditate, pray, and keep myself mindful throughout the day, I’m able to immerse myself in light and see the world differently. God has given us an incredible gift that shouldn’t be hidden or buried. Instead, we should let his luminesce glow within us and shine out into the world. When we show up as our authentic selves, we demonstrate to the world that light is possible in the darkness.

I want to finish this message with a story I heard from Rabbi Rohr Chabad of a Rabbi. There was a Rabbi who was sent to an island off the Alaska coast in search of Jews. When he went, he searched for two weeks and could not find a single Jew. He felt terrible because he could not find a Jewish community. On the day he was supposed to leave, he visited an elementary school to see if he could find one Jewish kid. He walked into this classroom and said, “I’m just wondering if you know of any Jews?”

One girl raised her hand and said, “I’m not Jewish, but my mom is.” He paused for a minute and considered where he was. He was at the edge of the world and the child, she was the vessel in his hands. He was to leave on a flight in 3 hours, so he didn’t have enough time to figure out what to do to inspire her. He couldn’t take her phone number or email address. She was seven years old. What is he going to do? He had one minute to inspire that little girl for the rest of her life.

He turned to the girl and said, “I want to tell you something. You are the only Jewish girl in this time zone. Every other time zone has a Jewish girl who lights Shabbat candles, but this time zone does not. I need you to do me a favor. The whole world, on Friday night, is waiting for your candle. On Friday night, at sundown, when Jewish women and girls light the Shabbat candles and usher in the Shabbat experience in every time zone, it’s been taken care of; The light flickers and shines from one-time zone to the next as the evening sun goes on. Then, it comes to the last time zone, and there’s no light. The whole world is waiting for your light.” The story doesn’t finish there. That girl knew that she had a mission in the world. That one Rabbi gave her a sense of purpose, a sense of identity.

She went home and said to her mother, “We must light the Shabbat candles!” Her mother couldn’t believe what she was hearing. At the edge of the world, she met a Rabbi, and the Rabbi told her to light candles. The story didn’t finish. She later surfaced in New York as a young adult and told the story about what happened in Alaska and how she was the one who made the world complete.

If a little girl in Alaska matters, then so do we. We just have to find our sense of purpose, talent, and “why we matter.” If you can’t find it now, keep going, keep searching, and keep investing in your sense of fulfillment; sooner or later, it will multiply and affect people who need the spark to continue God’s plan of salvation. We need to search within our being for why we are here and why we matter, and do it by traveling down our path, despite the changing conditions, which might turn most people away. Don’t be blinded by money. Money is nothing — just a zero in the book. Don’t get caught up in the God of this world. Find the spark. The whole world is waiting for our light.

The famous musician Bob Marley once believed that we could cure racism by injecting music and love into people’s lives. One day, when they were scheduled to perform a peace rally, a gunman came to his house and shot him down. Two days later, he walked out on that stage and sang. Somebody asked him, “Why.”

He said, “The people trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off. How can I light up the darkness?”

The whole world is waiting for our light. We must ask ourselves what must we do to light up the darkness. When our heavenly Master calls us home, how will you enter? Will you be a good and faithful servant? Will you let your light shine before mankind and glorify your Father, which is in heaven?



Victor Eaves

Published author, copywriter, blogger, researcher, the mad hatter extraordinaire